Just Breathe: 7. Ripples

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7. Ripples

It didn’t take me long to find the clearing that Haldir had spoken of. Just like he promised, Telir was waiting for me there. I was greatly relieved but not at all surprised. Haldir might be nothing more than scum in my eyes, but I knew that his word was good as gold. Telir immediately galloped over to me as soon as he spotted me.

“Are you well? I thought that he might try to harm you.” I found the worry in his face to be almost humorous. Here was this big, powerful ranger, concerned over the well being of an elleth. Fortunately I was able to hold back a chuckle and answer him in a serious tone of voice.

“Yes, I am fine. Haldir only wished to speak with me, and nothing more.” I didn’t want Telir to know that I was the lost daughter of Celeborn and Galadriel. When he first allowed me to join him on his travels, he took me as only a hurt girl who was of no special importance to anyone. Perhaps a servant or a stable girl. Little did he know that I did have a position that might be considered high ranking.

“The home of the Lord and his Lady is only a half day’s journey from here.” Telir replied, wisely not pressing me for information. I mentally thanked him for it. He had been my companion for what felt like an eternity and over time we had learned to balance each other out. We both had our own little secrets.

After a moment’s pause to eat and drink, we started out again. Many hours passed in silence as day turned slowly into night, as I watched the fireflies buzz around the forest and provide temporary illumination. It was a pleasing sight and I cast away all burdens and simply relaxed under the light of the half moon.

“Tell a story, Maeve. One of the elves.” Telir said as we rode along through the dark forest. I smiled. It had been a pastime that I had grown used to. Ever since one stormy night when we were forced to seek shelter in a cave near the Misty Mountains, I occasionally told him stories. Some of the elves, some of the dwarves, even some of the men. This time I had the perfect one.

“Farewell, sweet earth and northern sky,
For ever blest, since here did lie
And here with lissom limbs did run
Beneath the moon, beneath the sun,
Luthien Tinuviel
More fair than mortal tongue can tell
Though all to ruin fell the world
And were dissolved and backward hurled
Unmade into the old abyss,
Yet were it’s making good, for this-
The dusk, the dawn, the earth, the sea-
That Luthien for a time should be.”


I had known this song ever since I was a child. Often my mother had sang it to me before I went to sleep, bidding me that to take a mortal husband was to loose everything that was dear to you. I paid little attention to her warning. My heart would tell me which man was the right one and I could not care if he were to be mortal or immortal. If you cannot trust yourself to make choices for you, then there really is nobody left.

“That was beautiful. Who was Luthien Tinuviel?” Telir questioned. I almost laughed once more. Every little elf child knew of the tale about Luthien and her mortal husband, Beren. On some days I often forgot that Telir was not of the elvish race and did not know such simple stories.

“She was the most beautiful of all the elves, daughter of Melian the Maia. Beren was a mortal man, hailed as a hero among men. Though her father, Thingol, disapproved, she wed him and bound herself to him, forsaking her elvish immortality.” I said as I stared blankly off into the distance. Though I did not say anything, I knew that we were drawing close to the city.

No more words passed between us until we reached the gates of the city, hardly even visible to mortal eyes. I had long since pulled my hood up over my face, knowing that my parents had been leading a futile search around the forest for two years. Any news of me was worth quite a great deal.

“We come with a message for the Lord and Lady.” I said to the guard, finally opening up the envelope to gaze upon the flap, where it was written the origins of the letter. “It is from Rivendell.” After finding that we appeared to be harmless, I entered the golden city for the first time in years. It felt like I was finally coming home, after many stormy days and starless nights.

“I shall not take the message into the chambers.” I told Telir, knowing that he would find my choice odd. “It has been far too long that I have been gone. I do not wish to displease the rulers in any way.” Telir nodded, as if accepting my words as fact. I carefully handed him the envelope and he stashed it away in his cloak pocket.

We were permitted to ride right up to the edge of the flet where the royal family lived, which surprised me. The fact that Telir held an urgent message might have had something to do with it, but I remained suspicious. Maybe Haldir had decided to reap the rewards of my homecoming.

After Telir disappeared into the flet, I was left there alone. Every passing face made me worry even more that someone would recognize me, every moment caused my anxiety to increase until it threatened to reach a fevered pitch. It was then that he reappeared and mounted his horse once more, nodded to me and we both rode off.

“The Lord has requested that we spend the night here while he quickly pens a response.” Telir said softly, knowing that I wouldn’t like that. Honestly, he was right. I had just been planning to drop off the letter and then be on our way, perhaps off to battle orcs on the Gondorian border. Just anything to get me out of this forest.

“Did you think I would be pleased?” I murmured with a slight hint of a snort lingering in my voice. Telir sighed. I felt bad to hurt him in such a way, but didn’t he know how important it was to me to leave here? My eyes drifted over to him for just a mere second while I waited for his answer.

“No, certainly not. But these are our orders.” He replied, not making eye contact with me. I shuddered, hoping that he wasn’t pulling away from me after all these years. We had made a special connection on that night that he found me. Was that in jeopardy over some silly argument?

“Then we shall follow them. But I do not think that rangers such as ourselves should be playing the messengers for elves.” I spat back at him, still annoyed. I wanted adventure and excitement, not to be caged up in Lorien waiting while an urgent letter was replied to.

“We do not have much of a choice,” He said, glaring at anyone who stopped to stare at us. I supposed that it had something to do with our argument. “They have generously lent us a flet to spend the night in.” I sighed, choosing not to respond to his words and further our disagreement. We could work it all out later. After all, it didn’t look like I was going to get the speedy departure that I wanted.

***

Celeborn held the envelope in his hands, gazing at it for a few minutes. ‘An urgent message from Rivendell,’ the ranger had said. That could only mean that it was from Elrond, and that could only mean one thing. He tore into the envelope with great ferocity, then pulled out a single sheet of parchment.

‘To my dear friend Celeborn and his lady Galadriel,

It has been so long since we have last spoken, through letters or personal contact. Ever since Maeve disappeared I have wanted to come and visit, to console you in your time of grief. But work around Rivendell has kept me busy.

I suppose that it is not my workload, but rather Maeve that you wish to hear about. I swore to you that if I heard any news of her, I would send to you. While this might only be a trivial piece of gossip, I do believe that there may be some truth revealed in it.

Just ten days ago, I received word that an elf maiden with long blond hair was travelling and fighting with a male ranger. The last place they were seen was the border of Rohan, right around Rivendell. I do not know the name of this ranger and though I have tried; I could find no one who could tell me.

Best Wishes that this is of help to you,
-Lord Elrond’


Slowly, he refolded the letter and placed it back in the envelope, then leaned back in his chair and rubbed his temples. It was at least once every two or three weeks that he received both elves and men alike in his chambers who swore that they had seen Maeve. But this time seemed a bit different to him.

‘I won’t tell Galadriel,’ He vowed as he stood up and began to pace over to the window. ‘This will only get her hopes up.’ Outside, a splatter of rain fell upon the ground and before long became a steady pour. He sighed once more and then turned to go and write a response

This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.

Story Information

Author: Anactoria

Status: General

Completion: Work in Progress

Era: 3rd Age - The Stewards

Genre: Drama

Rating: General

Last Updated: 03/26/05

Original Post: 03/26/05

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